The Intimacies of Remote Warfare Conference

This international seminar on 6-7 December 2017 deals with the changing nature of warfare.

It investigates how in the highly securitised political climate of post 9/11, the resort to ‘countering threats at a distance’ by means of remote warfare intersects with notions of (in)security, citizenship, legality and human rights. It also seeks to analyse how technological advancements are making it increasingly possible for armed actors to operate across geographical borders, challenging traditional notions of the boundaries of the battlefield.

The spectacular occurrence and mediatisation of ‘the terrorist threat’ has transformed Western political debates and institutional arrangements concerning retaliation, privacy, surveillance, exception, secrecy and control. We see how through the speech act of ‘securing those at home’ an expanding conglomerate of armed actors is engaged in forms of remote warfare by means of (coalition) air strikes, surveillance programs, training operations, targeted killings and manhunts, often outside conventional war zones in the Middle East and Africa. While successful at times in terms of defeating enemy combatants, operations have also led to the further militarisation of particular regions and civilian casualties.

The shadowy nature of remote warfare, and the mobility of its materials, practices and bodies seriously constraints independent research and public debate on issues of local repercussions, political responsibility and legal accountability. An exchange of ideas, evidence and data-gathering strategies is therefore of key importance.

With keynotes by Derek Gregory (Distance, Intimacy and the Death of the Battlefield), Mark Duffield (Paradox of Connectivity), and Craig Jones (Lawfare and the Juridical Turn in Later Modern War).

A write-up of this event produced by the European Forum on Armed Drones (EFAD) can be read here.

The Conference Agenda is available here